North County Outlook - Community newspaper serving Marysville, Arlington, Tulalip, Smokey Point, Lakewood

Eagle Creek participates in Great Kindness Challenge

 

Arlington's Eagle Creek Elementary students drew pictures for patients at Cascade Valley Hospital and thank you notes for their teachers as part of the Great Kindness Challenge last week.

The local elementary school is one of the thousands of schools in the nation participating in the Great Kindness Challenge this year.

The national program asks kids to help create a more positive environment for everyone by participating in some acts of kindness during the week of Jan. 23 to 27.

"We're just helping the school be kind to each other," said Eagle Creek student David Hall.

"The kindness challenge is doing kind things for your community," said Eagle Creek student Reese Polkinghorne. "It's about being kind to everyone else and spreading kindness," she said.

Students take part of their lunch period to write thank you notes to teachers, kitchen staff, bus drivers and janitors at the school.

They also write or draw pictures for patients at Cascade Valley Hospital, seniors at local senior centers and drew posters for local businesses.

"It doesn't matter how young or old you are, every kind act matters to someone," said Colene Jablonski, a counselor at Eagle Creek Elementary and an organizer of the event.

A list of 50 kind acts also gives them a goal each day.

"They've been encouraged to do different kind acts with their family," said Jablonski.

Those include small acts like picking up garbage in your neighborhood, saying "thank you" to a bus driver or giving someone a compliment.

This is the first year that Eagle Creek Elementary has participated in the event.

Jablonski said she wanted to bring the kindness week to the school after hearing about it at a local counselors conference.

"While I was there one of my colleagues talked about how she did this in her town and talked about how it really brought the school and community together, and I thought this would be a good thing for Arlington," she said.

She hopes that the event also connects Eagle Creek kids to the community as well.

City staff, including police officers, firefighters, airport officials and the Arlington mayor, have come to Eagle Creek to help kids write their notes.

"I wanted to make it inter-generational, to have a lot of positive role models to show them kind habits, which is why we've had so many community members here," said Jablonski.

"I've done spirit weeks here before, about three times a year, but that's just inside our walls and I really wanted to reach out further and touch the community so they see that they are role models for the kids," she said.

The students also said they enjoy doing something for their community.

"I like doing these activities for other people," said Polkinghorne.

"I like just helping other people and helping the school, and helping other people be kind to each other," said Eagle Creek student Grady Fournier.

More information about the Great Kindness Challenge is available at thegreatkindnesschallenge.com.

 

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